New bid to force firm to rebuild historic Falkland wall

FALKLAND;'AISLINN HASZELDINE protesting against wall on pleasance, falkland, being demolished'photo; WALTER NEILSON
FALKLAND;'AISLINN HASZELDINE protesting against wall on pleasance, falkland, being demolished'photo; WALTER NEILSON
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FIFE Council has launched its latest bid to force developers to rebuild the historic wall they demolished in Falkland last year.

Lomond Land bulldozed a section of the 300-year-old structure on The Pleasance amid a storm of protest, but an enforcement notice served on the firm was thrown out after an appeal.

A Scottish Government reporter ruled the original order too vague, prompting the council to go back to the drawing board and reissue the notice demanding the company puts the wall back together.

Stuart Haszeldine of the Historic Falkland Action Group said he was “very optimistic” an end to the saga was in sight.

He said: “The developers have had numerous opportunities to make amends during the past year.

“It is only through the time and sustained efforts of Councillor David MacDiarmid, Fife Council and the community that recovery from this damage is gradually being seen.

“It is abundantly clear that only the full force of the law will make these reckless developers have any respect for Falkland’s precious heritage.”

Lomond Land director Alan Seath told the Fife Herald the company would require time to consider the new enforcement order and whether to appeal again.

Under the terms of the notice the firm is required to rebuild the 20-metre section of wall using the original salvaged stonework as far as possible.

Fife Council alleges Lomond Land was in breach of planning regulations when it pulled down the structure last April — action the company said it took at the request of the council in the interests of public safety.

The move sparked fury in the village, with campaigners staging a four-day vigil at the wall and collecting a 500-signature petition denouncing its demolition.

Lomond Land — part of the Glenrothes-based Lomond Group — has an option to buy land adjacent to the wall from site owner William Mill.

The firm has lodged an objection to the finalised St Andrews and East Fife local plan, arguing that the land should have been earmarked for residential development.

The local plan and its unresolved representations are currently being examined by a Scottish Government reporter.